CJ report - Many children who commit crimes are diagnosed...

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Many children who commit crimes are diagnosed with some type of psychiatric disorder. The most severe type of mental disorder and the most common in children is conduct disorder (CD) (American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997). One of the most controversial mental disorders responsible for child criminal behaviors is child psychopathy. Some researchers have established a relationship between conduct disorders and psychopathy. Conduct disorders are defined as “a complicated group of behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997).” Symptoms include aggression toward people and animals, destruction of property, lying, deceitfulness, or stealing, runs away from home, often truant from school, or other serious violations of rules. The child may also have trouble feeling and expressing empathy and remorse and reading social cues. Quite often they misinterpret the actions of others as being hostile and usually respond by raising the situation into conflict (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997; “Children‘s mental health“; “Conduct disorder in children“, 1996). Although it is not yet known what the exact prevalence for CD is, according to the Center of Mental Health Services (CMHS), one in ten children may have CD. Boys show a prevalence between six and sixteen percent, while girls have a prevalence rate between two and nine percent (“Children‘s Mental Health“). However, most of these conduct problems and antisocial behavior do not continue into adulthood. Research has shown; however, that CD in children does put the child at a higher risk of committing crimes as adults. There are many disorders and conditions that may coexist with CD including, ADHD, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and substance abuse. The conditions of the child’s 1
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environment were the most popular belief of the cause of CD. These contributing conditions included child abuse, school failure, traumatic life experiences, or brain damage sustained during the course of the child’s young life (American Academy of Children & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1997; “Children‘s mental health“; “Conduct disorder in children“, 1996). However, some researchers support the nature aspect. Two separate studies done on twins show a correlation between genes and CD. One study using seventy identical twins and forty-two fraternal twins between the ages of four and fifteen, showed a 68% hereditability estimate(“Research on twins“, 2000). Another study done by Wendy Slutske and colleagues in 1997 on 2,682 twins had a hereditability estimate of 71%. Although boys are more likely to be identified with CD than girls, the research showed that “the magnitude of genetic and environmental influences for CD liability did not vary significantly for boys and girls (“Twin study“, 1997).” However, today many psychologists and psychiatrists acknowledge an interplay between nature and nurture. Their research shows that CD has components that are both genetic and environmental.
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CJ report - Many children who commit crimes are diagnosed...

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